Green fingers with Homesense this Spring

Wasn’t last week completely wondrous? All that beautiful weather and time spent outside. Staying with my sister whilst we renovate the new house we don’t have a garden here but we did spend quite a bit of time in my mum’s garden and Mimi had her very first paddling pool experience, which she thought was the best thing ever. As I have already talked about I have started thinking a lot about our new garden and the possibilities of making it the perfect space for us so I jumped at the chance to team up with Homesense to have a good look at their huge garden collection and show you some of my favourite pieces and share ideas to make the most of your green fingers: whether you have just a windowsill, balcony or sprawling garden.

I visited the North Greenwich Homesense store and I love the thrill of never knowing what I will find there (I go there a little too much, truth be told) as the stock is updated every day with one off finds and once it’s gone, it’s gone. I also love the fact that there are so many bargains to be had as the Homesense prices are often way below the recommended retail price – is it sad I get excited every time I look at the price tag?! At the moment we are restricted to indoor plants at my sister’s flat – she would love to grow her own herbs as she’s an amazing cook. Therefore, I was on the lookout for pots for herbs for her as well as a few things to make my mum’s garden a little more welcoming. Here is what I found and my top tips for making the most of your indoor plants and/or garden space:

1. Plant your own herbs

Whether you have a huge garden or just a tiny kitchen windowsill, herbs are such a perfect way to introduce green into your home. Also, if you are able to grow, pick and use your own herbs you can play your part in reducing waste because you won’t need to buy those hideously expensive plastic packs from the supermarket. I found these brilliant pots in Homesense that are self watering, which is perfect if you want to make growing plants as hassle free as possible. You just fill up the bottom of the pot with water and a thick piece of string goes up into the soil and down into the water reserve and sucks up water as and when needed. Very clever and especially good if you are prone to under-watering or over-watering your plants. They also come with a pair of herb scissors so you can snip what you need for whatever you are cooking.

These clever self watering herb pots were £6.99 compared to the RRP of £10.99 and they even come with a pair of herb scissors.

2. Hanging herb planters

A good tip is to plant herbs in a hanging planter for your kitchen as that frees up worktop or windowsill space and I think they look great too. If you have a garden you can plant herbs into a colander (provides perfect drainage and looks great) and hang it by the back door so you can access herbs easily.

This hanging planter has a unique draining system so it collects a reserve of water in its base so you are not in danger of overwatering your herbs and you can empty it via a plug in the base. It also acts as a self watering system. This great pot was only £4.99 compared to its RRP of £12.99 and it is ideal for my sister’s kitchen as she doesn’t have much worktop space to spare for pots.

3. Watering tricks for indoor plants

Firstly, always keep an indoor watering can full of water by your most thirsty plants as this way you are much more likely to water them. Secondly, if you are going on holiday during this warmer weather and are worried about your plants dying place a cup of water next to them and place a string in the water and put the other end of the string into the soil of the plant. It will water itself whilst you are away!

4. Terrarium

If you want to be more green fingered but don’t have a garden try planting a terrarium. I picked up a lovely glass lantern at Homesense and instead of putting a candle in it I planted it with succulents that require very little water and looking after so the perfect way to introduce green into your home with minimal effort. To find out more about planting terrariums read my terrarium guide.

A new addition to my bedside table in my sister’s house. This pretty lantern makes a perfect terrarium for succulents and it only cost £9.99. There is a huge range of all sorts of garden accessories in store at Homesense from lanterns to birdhouses.

5. Use baskets as pots

Homesense is full to the rafters with all sorts of pots and planters but have you ever thought about using a basket? It’s a great way to hide a very cheap plastic plant pot that plants often come in and adds great texture to any room. Homesense have the best selection of baskets and I even found ones lined with plastic that would be ideal.

This lovely basket is ideal for one of my plants that I bought in a cheap plastic pot. I love the contrast between the basket and the plant itself. I have placed a dish in the bottom of the basket so that any water drains out into that so the basket doesn’t get ruined. I found this basket in Homesense for just £12.99.

6. Eclectic pots

Make your pots as interesting as your plants to make your garden or indoor plants a real showstopper. Homesense has a huge variety of pots: ceramic, glazed, all the colours of the rainbow, novelty shapes, big, small, you name it, they have it.

Homesense have a really big range of pots that it is so hard to find elsewhere let alone at such reasonable prices.

I absolutely loved the glazed green pot below that would perfect filled with succulents in the garden and it was only £19.99 compared to its RRP of £39.99. I can;t stop thinking about it and wish I had bought it but it was too big and heavy for me to carry home by myself with the other stuff I bought. I HATE shopper’s regret!

7. Create an inviting spot in your garden to hang out

Whether you invest in a full garden furniture set (check out the one I found below in the North Greenwich store!), simply add outdoor cushions to your garden chairs or set up a rug on the grass you do need to make the space appealing otherwise it is less likely to be used. I found a brilliant selection of outdoor rugs in store and I immediately bought one as I have ruined way too many wool rugs over the years by plonking them on the grass to be mucked up by mud and whatever else. I will also take this out with me every day in the warmer weather so that Mimi and I can stop in the park and sit on the grass. I also grabbed one of these fab jute pouffes as they are great extra seats or can be used as a footstool with a garden chair. They can also be used indoors during the rest of the year.

I love these jute pouffes that double up as an extra seat or footstool for a garden chair as well as being able to take them inside as they add loads of texture and warmth to interiors. This pouffe was £29.99 compared to the RRP of £39.99.

Otto is very keen on the outdoor rug I bought that has a waterproof backing. He basically spent all weekend lounging out on it.

I was very excited by this garden set that I spotted in store for £549.99 for six chairs and the table, which compared to a lot of outdoor dining sets is very reasonable indeed especially as the chairs are very comfortable.

8. Add a mirror to your garden

A mirror is a great way of making a small garden or terrace feel bigger and can be a good focal point. I found loads of beautiful metal mirrors in Homesense that would be perfect and the more exposed to the weather they are the better they will look, in my opinion.

The mirror on the right cost £49.99 compared to £109.99! A huge saving and it would look amazing in a garden as it resembles the sun and would age beautifully over time.

9. Lighting

We tried to have dinner in my mum’s garden the other day and realised that it was too dark and they have no lights that make it possible to be outside after dark so I think lighting is crucial. Try LED or solar lights as a really easy option. There’s a great range in store of all shapes and sizes.

10. Get equipped

If you do want to be more green fingered it is very important to commit to it and have what you need to make planting and caring for your plants as easy as possible otherwise you are liable to waste a lot of money on plants that just die. A potting bench is a great investment for the garden and get some basic tools – you can find everything you need in Homesense’s garden collection.

I would love this potting bench in my new garden – the galvanised metal top is perfect.

The garden collection at Homesense extends to all the practical things you will need for gardening so you really don’t need to go to the garden centre at all to get started.

All we need now is for the sun to come back so we can get back out into the garden! Now, do I head back to Homesense to see if that big green pot is still there…

Katy x

*This post was written in collaboration with Homesense

The Firepod pizza oven

I have LOVED this week – what a difference all this sun and heat makes! Pure, pure joy. We are lucky enough to be able to use my mum’s garden and being able to let Mimi loose there is a bit of a lifesaver as she has so much energy. I can not tell you how much I am looking forward to having our own garden soon; it’s probably what I am most excited about when we move in to the new house. With that in mind I was really excited to be approached by the small team behind the Firepod who have very recently launched their amazing outdoor pizza oven. I met up with the inventor of the oven who talked me through the sleek design that not only looks great but makes the most delicious pizzas.

We decided to gather at lunchtime this week when it was boiling hot and we brought the pizza oven up onto the balcony in my mum’s garden. Mimi was in and out of the paddling pool and I made pizzas for her and the grandparents. They were so impressed! Mimi got a special rainbow veggie one – I like being able to make my own pizza for her as I can control the salt levels and pile it up with vegetables that she is more than happy to eat as they are combined with cheese and the pizza base.

I love the simple, Scandi-looking design (available in a few different colours); it’s very compact and easy to transport, especially because you can remove the tall legs and add short legs so ideal to take on camping trips, for example. It is also very, very easy to use – on our first go at making pizzas we were blown away by how good they were! We made our own dough, which was also much easier than we thought, and it really is as simple as heating up the oven (you need a gas canister, which are sold in hardware and DIY shops), placing the pizza in the oven using a pizza peel that is included and removing it when it is ready. They are honestly delicious – I’d go as far as saying that they are better than most pizza restaurants I’ve been to.

The flavour combo that I have discovered is the best thing ever is a thin layer of tomato sauce, artichokes, roquito chilli peppers (the small sweet ones that you get in jars), black olives, buffalo mozzarella and grated mozzarella. BEST THING EVER.

Mimi had a great time, gobbled up most of her pizza but also fed a fair bit to the dogs, natch. We have now made pizzas twice and tried out loads of different flavour combos. They always come out perfectly as long as you roll the dough out thinly enough and don’t overcook them.

The brilliant thing about the oven is that you can replace the pizza stone with a griddle set that you buy separately so we can cook outdoors very easily using gas. This really appeals to me as I absolutely hate smelly cooking so cooking steak, for example, is my worst nightmare. This way Jules can happily cook meat outdoors without filling the house with smells and smoke. The griddle also has a flat side so you can do eggs and pancakes and the like on it – perfect camping breakfasts.

We are really looking forward to holding pizza parties over the summer and we already have one booked in when my little sister comes to stay with her new baby at the end of next month. It is such a lovely sociable thing to cook for friends as everyone can chip in and add their own toppings. The prep and washing up is also minimal, which is a winner in my book.

You can buy a Firepod direct from their site and you can also support their crowdfunding (as it is a new product that they want to develop) and the link to their Indiegogo page is here. I really wish them lots of luck for the future of their company as we think the Firepod is a brilliant product and can’t wait to use it more.

Katy x

*This post was written in collaboration with Firepod.

Using vintage finds to create a botanical theme in my bedroom

With the change of season I always get restless at home and want to change things around. However, with a new baby there just isn’t the time to make any big changes so a few little tweaks here and there to brighten up each room will have to do for now. I have spent a lot of time over the last few months in our bedroom, especially whilst feeding Mimi or pinned underneath her whilst she sleeps. I have had hours and hours to look around the room and obsess over little things that need rearranging or sprucing up but I haven’t had the chance to do anything about it until now…

I have been challenged, along with a few other bloggers, to update my bedroom and you can see a few of the ideas over on the Bensons for Beds blog. My challenge was to add a botanical feel to my bedroom using vintage finds; I love both of these things so combining the two sounded like a perfect way to refresh my room for spring/summer. Here’s what I came up with…

1. Botanical display

A lovely way of bringing the outdoors in to your bedroom is to use vintage bottles for plant cuttings. I love the smell of Geranium leaves so I cut stems from the plant in my garden and pop them in bottles of water. They grow roots in the water and eventually flower – just change the water regularly and make sure they have lots of light. Display them with single flower stems and it’s a really cheap and easy way to have fresh flowers in your bedroom on a regular basis and they look extra pretty in vintage bottles.

2. Personalise vintage finds

When you go out vintage hunting don’t dismiss floral bits because they look too chintzy or old fashioned, like this floral framed mirror that was originally a dark mahogany wood. All you need to do is get a bit of paint out and choose a colour to match your room. I painted this sweet mirror white and it nows fits in to my room perfectly and subtlety adds to the botanical theme.

3. Family heirlooms

This was my great grandmother’s quilt and is well over a hundred years old and one of my most treasured possessions. It is always worthwhile checking whether you already own something that will fit in with the theme you have chosen. A vintage floral quilt is the perfect way to add a botanical feel to a bedroom and they are just so, so pretty.

4. Peg rail

I have lots of hooks in my bedroom to avoid the dreaded ‘wardrobe chair’ – you know, the chair where you dump worn clothes that aren’t quite ready for the laundry – but it’s nice to clear a set to play with different style ideas. Here I have hung a botanical illustration from a vintage book (it’s really easy to find beautiful vintage botanical books with coloured illustrations and you can remove the coloured plates without spoiling the book and then frame them for your bedroom), a floral dressing gown (or maybe your favourite floral dress?) and a pretty posy of flowers in a jar to add to the botanical theme in my room.

5. Repurpose vintage crockery

A brilliant way of displaying fresh flowers or plants is to use vintage jugs or bowls. Buy a mix of flowers – a few stems of each – as well as lots of foliage to create a natural looking bouquet and a vintage jug will make them look even better. Vintage bowls or tea cups are also a lovely thing to use for indoor plants instead of stashing them in a cupboard not being used or seen.

6. Hanging planter

If you are short of space in your bedroom and there is nowhere to place a pot plant try making a hanging planter. Buy a vintage enamel jelly mould and punch three holes through the lip at equally spaced points. Attach three chains, all the same length, through the three holes. Screw a cup hook into the ceiling and hang the chains onto it. Buy a trailing plant like this ‘String of Pearls’ for the hanging planter and add a few pebbles at the bottom of the planter so that water can drain away.

So, there you go, a few easy ways to bring a botanical feel to your bedroom. Throughout May there will be lots more ideas for updating your bedroom over on the Bensons for Beds Instagram account where I will also be doing an Instagram takeover. If you are feeling inspired take a snap of your bedroom style on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, using the hashtag #SpringStyle, to be in with a chance of winning a prize to help you do a mini bedroom makeover. Read the full terms and conditions and more details here.

Have a lovely weekend, all.

Katy x

*This is a collaborative post with Bensons for Beds.

My house is in a book!

It seems strange to be beginning the year by telling you about something that actually happened back in 2015 but for one reason or another I didn’t get round to sharing the exciting news that interior stylist Selina Lake chose my home to be featured in a book she published last Spring, Botanical Style. It does kind of fit with the start of a new year as the book is full of gorgeous images, photographed by Rachel Whiting, of very inspiring homes overflowing with plants, flowers and botanical accessories and textiles and I always think there is nothing better than a house plant to breath a bit of life into a stale room at this time of year.

Here are a couple of the photographs of my home that are featured in the book but you can also find images of my sitting room, home office, dining area and hallway if you buy the book…

Botanical Style by Selina Lake | Apartment Apothecary

My bedroom styled by Selina Lake featuring botanical textiles – my grandmother’s quilt and one of my favourite cushions designed by Abigail Borg.

Botanical Style by Selina Lake | Apartment Apothecary

The other side of my bedroom with my ‘wardrobe plants’ as I like to call them, a hanging planter and more vintage botanical textiles covering my grandmother’s nursing chair.


A hanging planter in my kitchen that I made from a vintage jelly mould filled with herbs – perfect if you have no outdoor space to grow plants.

Behind the scenes

I took a couple of snaps on the day that Selina and Rachel spent here of their props and set-ups. It was so wonderful to watch them at work and it felt such an honour for them to be styling and photographing my home!

Botanical Style

With Rachel Whiting’s brilliant images as well as all the tips and ideas for adding more green to your home this is one of Selina’s best books in my opinion (and not just because my home is in it!). Botanical Style by Selina Lake, published by Ryland Peters & Small, photography by Rachel Whiting ©Ryland Peters & Small.

Botanical Style by Selina Lake | Apartment Apothecary

You can buy the book directly through my blog, if you would like to. It would make a great coffee table book as well as a lovely present for a plant or interiors lover.

This is the perfect time of year to add more layers of green to your home to help freshen it up after all the festivities of the last month.

Katy x

You could win £1000 when you start your own Etsy shop!

Have you ever thought about selling the lovely things that you make at home that would make wonderful gifts this Christmas? As the festive season approaches now is the perfect time to take the plunge and it couldn’t be easier! All you have to do is sign up to become an Etsy seller and to help you get started you can begin selling on Etsy here and if you use the code ETSYHEROESAPARTMENT by November 30th you could be in with a chance of winning £1000 to spend on absolutely anything you like (terms and conditions apply**). Couldn’t ask for a better start than that, right?

I am very excited today to share Sophie’s Etsy story with you and I hope it will inspire any creatives out there to set up their own shop.  Etsy is a brilliant resource to enable anyone to sell their creations, perhaps for a bit of extra money in the run up to Christmas, to help develop a hobby, or like Sophie to help launch a full-blown creative career. Sophie’s business geo-fleur is a brilliant example of what is possible so when I caught up with her last week I couldn’t wait to hear more about how she has grown her business over the last two years from the early seeds of being an Etsy seller to today with a bricks and mortar shop selling her gorgeous terrarium kits, plants, macrame hanging planters, ceramic pots; a book on the way; a plant installation at the Tate and running massively popular botanical workshops – it is truly amazing what you can achieve! She was also kind enough to teach me how to make one of her very cool macrame hanging planters that she sells in her Etsy shop as well as giving me a few tips on how to plant up a terrarium using her DIY kits.

Etsy Hero: Sophie from geo-fleur | How to start a creative business | Botanical styling | Photograph by

Sophie is a very inspiring Etsy seller whose botanical styling business has grown by leaps and bounds since setting up her Etsy shop just two years ago. I met up with Sophie to hear her story and she taught me how to make one of her gorgeous macrame hanging planters that she sells in her Etsy shop. All images by Katharine Peachey.

Why Etsy?

Sophie’s mum is a florist so she was always surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers and she tells me that at a very young age she was always helping her granddad in the garden so her interest in botanicals started there. After studying fine art and starting down a more conventional job path she started geo-fleur ‘on the side’ as a hobby and decided to open an Etsy shop to help her sell her handmade plant accessories and terrarium kits, as well as running market stalls. She remembers her first order well and the excitement of receiving the notification: “I was like, YAY! Someone wants to buy something I have made. It was a wonderful feeling. Etsy is great at connecting you with people that want a custom order, or want something more specific, for example we made 200 mini concrete pots for succulents for wedding favours!”

WIN £1000 to help to start your own Etsy shop | Etsy Hero: Sophie from geo-fleur | How to start a creative business | Botanical styling | Photograph by

Sophie explains that Etsy helped her get a foot in the door and, “connect with customers I wouldn’t normally be tapping into via selling at markets.” Setting up an Etsy shop was really easy in her experience and the app really helped as she could just upload everything from there – particularly helpful when you are maintaining a full time job, I would imagine (I remember trying to upload blog posts when I was still working full time as a teacher and it was a real juggling act).

A lot of hard work and very little sleep later Sophie’s business has grown from strength to strength. She has managed to build up a great network of support (especially her mum!) and a huge Instagram following where she can showcase her products and services: “Now we have a few more resources, a lovely van that we crowd funded, it enables me to go and partake in some amazing jobs around the UK and just last week I was styling up a lovely new creative space in Liverpool and we’ve currently got a plant installation at the entrance to the Turner Prize exhibition. I never believed it would be this exciting or take me this far. It’s been a very big rollercoaster and it’s still growing!”

WIN £1000 to help to start your own Etsy shop | Etsy Hero: Sophie from geo-fleur | How to start a creative business | Botanical styling | Photograph by

Words of wisdom

Sophie loves the freedom of running a creative business and the fact she can connect with someone over a lovely product and make their day. Her one piece of advice to anyone who wants to follow in her path to run a creative business is not to give up. She never dreamed that her teeny tiny business on the side could grow so quickly or become so successful: “It’s crazy but I’m so thrilled. Plus we’ve got some really exciting growth plans for 2017. I’d love to have a couple of branches of our geo-fleur shops around the UK and maybe an international version. Also our geo-fleur book is out next May, which is super exciting.”

I have to admit that I am a bit blown away how far geo-fleur has come in such a short space of time; it’s enough to inspire anyone. My one piece of advice would be to take that leap to start, which can be the hardest thing to do. I remember it took me six months to press publish on my first blog post. Sophie and I both agree that you don’t need a hard and fast business plan when you begin your creative journey as growing organically and being open to possibilities and opportunities can get you so much further than a rigid plan that can lead to disappointment.

WIN £1000 to help to start your own Etsy shop | Etsy Hero: Sophie from geo-fleur | How to start a creative business | Botanical styling | Photograph by

Sophie’s top tips for setting up an Etsy shop

  1. Make sure your product stock levels are up to date
  2. Dispatch orders as soon as you can!
  3. Use lots of keywords to optimise the search feature.

Starting your shop in the run up to Christmas is great timing, Sophie told me. The demand at this time of year is massive and apparently DIY craft kits go down very well – her terrarium kits are always best-sellers as they make such great gifts.

Etsy Hero: Sophie from geo-fleur | How to start a creative business | Botanical styling | Photograph by

Sophie gave me a quick demonstration on how to plant up a terrarium using one of her DIY terrarium kits that she sells lots of during the Christmas period.

Set up your shop now

So, what are you waiting for? Set up your Etsy shop this month, begin selling your creations for fun, experience the same excitement Sophie did when she received her first sale notification and you never know where the journey may take you. Remember, you can begin selling on Etsy here and if you use the code ETSYHEROESAPARTMENT by November 30th you could win £1000 to help you launch your creative business (terms and conditions apply**). Good luck and fingers crossed!

Go on, take the leap…

Katy x

Etsy Hero: Sophie from geo-fleur | How to start a creative business | Botanical styling | Photograph by

*This post was written in collaboration with Etsy and with thanks to Sophie from geo-fleur and Katharine Peachey for the photography.

**Terms and conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER. Promotion is open to legal residents of the United Kingdom, age 18 or older who open an Etsy shop via between 7 November 2016 and 30 November 2016 using the code: ETSYHEROESAPARTMENT. Entries must be received between 12:01 AM GMT on 7 November 2016 and 11:59:59 PM GMT on 30 November 2016. One prize available of £1,000. Odds depend on number of eligible entries received. Sponsor: Etsy UK Limited. See full terms and conditions here.